Hi guys! First post here... I've been modifying PCs to be as quiet as possible for years and have somehow only just discovered that this site had a forums section.
A little bit of background for this build... we run a photography/web design business and need a file server to store many terabytes worth of data from years of photography, web design, media collection and the like. We were originally running Intel server gear inside an Antec Atlas chassis but it wasn't particularly quiet and we ran out of HDD bays pretty quickly. Because of a lack of space and the layout of the office the server has to sit ~1m behind and to the right of my desk the drone of fans and HDDs was driving me batty while I worked.
Enter the Define XL...
After several months of research the following parts were selected:Fractal Design Define XL
(10 HDD bays standard, 4 extra bays - perfect for a 4-in-3 enclosure + one hot swappable HDD bay. Comes with some noise damping standard, enough room for E-ATX - a must - and separate sections for PSU/HDDs etc., as well as dust filters (another must) and a minimalist aesthetic)Seasonic X-560 PSU
(as much for the 80 Plus Gold standard as the hope that it'll be inaudible most of the time)40GB OWC SSDs
x2 - System disks which are currently running in our Macs as system drives - we're replacing those and bringing these across to the serverLian Li EX-34NB
- Wanted to leave a reasonable amount of space for airflow between the drives, a 120mm fan and an air filter. This fit all those requirements.Noctua NH-U12P SE2
- Needed something quiet and I could pinch one of the 120mm fans for the EX-34NB to replace the original fan.Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm fan
x3 - For the front two fan bays and exhaust. Tried the fans that came with the case and they don't move particularly much air.Antec Easy SATA Hot Swap Caddy
- Had this laying around and decided to make use of it as the hot swap bay for the backup HDD that we use. It's not a great fit with this case as the case door won't shut while there's a HDD inside it but the HDDs are only there briefly to back up data and are then removed so it's not really a major issue.WD20EARS & WD10EARS
- The first lot of drives we're filling it with are the Western Digital 5400rpm green drives... we have used these before in our server builds and have found them to be excellent in terms of performance, price and noise.
CPU, RAM and motherboard... well, there's a long story there that I'll add into this thread later.
The case when it arrived:
I am quite dubious about the angle of the 180mm fan at the top... but otherwise I've been thoroughly impressed by the case, as well as the R3 which we ordered at the same time for a different build. I have high hopes that I will be able to make this system inaudible from where I sit.
More photos to come as the last of the parts arrive and the build progresses...